Decorating with orchids will give your house an exotic, elegant atmosphere. If you love varieties, there are numerous types of orchids to choose, with various features and characteristics to suit each owner.
Whether you love petite flowers or large, majestic ones, make sure your orchids fit your ability to care for them.
Here are several orchid types based on their main characteristics.
A. Types of Large Orchids
Whether growing in a cluster or as a single bloom, large orchids present eye-catching view when placed in indoor pots. Some of the most popular orchids have large blooms with bright colors, perfect as natural decorations.
Examples of such orchids include:
Dendrobium orchids have “top-heavy” appearance because the flowers bloom from a single stalk. The flowers grow in a cluster, and they come in colors such as pink, purple, and white. They have the butterfly-like appearance and are popular as bouquet flowers.
The white orchids from Phalaenopsis genus are known as “moth orchids” due to their low-light habitat and exotic look. However, they also come in vibrant colors, such as pink, purple, and yellow. This orchid type has a long blooming season.
Oncidium is called “dancing lady” because of its elegant petal shape. While the flowers may be small, they grow in a large cluster atop a thick stalk formation. The stalk has pseudobulbs; a bumpy part consists of white roots.
4. Phaius Orchid
Phaius grows in large bright clusters that look majestic. The tall stalks can reach 122 cm (48 inches) in height. The colors vary from yellow to white, purple, and magenta.
Cattleya is popular as bouquet and corsage. The yellow orchid instantly brightens any room, while the purple, pink, or red one creates a unique romantic mood. The four petals create a butterfly-like formation that looks elegant.
If you are intimidated by large orchids, choosing the mini varieties can be the next option.
Read also: Orchid Flower Meaning and Symbolism
B. Types of Petite Orchids
“Miniature orchids” are the common names given to plants you can put in mini pots. They are perfect for small space, creating cute sights. Some regular-sized orchid types have mini versions, but some types have exclusively mini sizes.
Several common miniature orchid varieties include:
1. Masdevallia Orchid
Masdevallia is a genus that consists of about 300 species, most of them are minis. They love the cool climate and grow well in higher lands. Some of the species have less than an inch of flower size. The most common colors are red, purple, white, and yellow.
2. Dracula Orchid
Dracula means “small dragon”, a perfect name for the mini to medium-sized orchid genus. Dracula orchids usually have one flower, which grows from a single stalk. The flower has three pointed sepals, which give a bat-like impression.
3. Lepanthes Orchid
Lepanthes is a mini orchid genus that has over 1,000 species. Almost all of the orchid species have small flowers, but with brilliant colors such as purple, yellow, or white with pink markings.
4. Stelis Orchid
Stelis is a genus of mini orchids that consist of around 500 species. Many grow on the forest floors in South and Central America, Florida, Mexico, and the West Indies. The mini flowers grow in two rows from a single stalk. Some species have flowers that close at night.
Miniature orchids may take little space, but many of them require special preparations if you want to grow them.
C. Unusual Orchid Types
Some orchids are hard to categorize because they have unusual looks. If you look for unique plants that don’t look like typical orchids, they are your choices:
Did you know that vanilla is a type of orchid? The cooking vanilla comes from a species called Vanilla planifolia. Unlike most orchids, they grow as vines. True to their names, vanilla orchids also release strong fragrance.
2. Ludisia discolor
Ludisia discolor is one of the big leaf orchids planted for the foliage, not the blooms. The tiny flowers are pretty, but they are pale compared to the large foliage formation. The leaves may come in different shades of green and markings.
3. Gongora Orchid
Gongora is a unique orchid genus with thin flowers that point downward. While the flowers may not be majestic, they release a unique perfume that resembles spices. You may get aromas like cinnamon, nutmeg, or even allspice.
These unusual orchids are perfect for anyone who likes to be “different”. Despite the lack of large, colorful colors, these orchids attract attention with their unique characteristics.
D. Which Orchids Perfect for Beginners?
Orchid flowers demand meticulous care, which can be intimidating for many. However, some orchids are less fussy than others, making them perfect for beginner orchid enthusiasts. The “beginner orchids” are not only beautiful but also more tolerable toward tiny mistakes.
Paphiopedilum and Oncidium are common low-light orchids. Since they require indirect light, beginner orchid owners can plant them inside the house, without building a greenhouse.
They also have bright colors and quite majestic shapes, so you can still get beautiful flowers despite their “easy” care.
Phalaenopsis is also popular for beginners, especially if you expect long blooming season. With proper care, these orchids will bloom for three to four months, which are longer than many standard cut flowers.
E. Tips for Buying Orchids
Regardless of the orchid types, you need to know how to pick healthy plants when buying them. The ultimate way is to check the main parts: roots, flowers, and leaves.
The roots must be healthy, have fresh colors (green or white), and don’t have brown spots or decaying parts. You can ask the grower/seller to lift the plant from its pot and inspect the roots.
Healthy orchids must have a bright green color. However, a little yellow color at the base of the leaves is fine, as long as the top parts are green. Avoid buying the plant if almost all the leaves are yellow.
Finally, pay attention to the flowers. Please make sure they are fresh and healthy-looking. See if you can spot budding buds, indicating a healthy and growing plant. You can also sniff the orchid to see decaying smell, which indicates rotting.
Orchids come in thousands of species, and the most popular ones are bright, colorful, and majestic. Some orchid types are more unusual, relying on unique leaves, foliage, or fragrance over flowers.
Some types are suitable for beginners, while others need meticulous care. Regardless of the types of orchids, make sure you know the signs of healthy plants when buying them so that you can have beautiful flowers at home.